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17 Computer Games All '00s Kids Played That Actually Taught You Useful Stuff

Computer games were your favorite teacher.

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1. The Sims

EA Games

Description: There was no defined goal to The Sims β€” you just created people, built houses, and gave them jobs. It was like real life but somehow more satisfying.

What you learned: Social skills, interior design, and a new language comprised entirely of gibberish.

Educational rating (out of 5): 🍎

2. Zoombinis

The Learning Company

Description: You play as Zoombinis, a chill race of blue blobs who escaped slavery and journeyed to a prosperous new home by completing a series of different puzzles.

What you learned: Logic, how to identify patterns, and how to feed pizza to a tree.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎

3. The Oregon Trail


Description: In this text-based game, you were essentially trying to survive a frontier-era family road trip to Oregon.

What you learned: American history and how not to die of dysentery.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎

4. Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?


Description: This mystery game focused on traveling the globe to track down a criminal mastermind with a DOPE fashion sense.

What you learned: Geography, process of elimination, and what the heck "gumshoe" meant.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎

5. Pajama Sam: You Are What You Eat From Your Head to Your Feet

Humongous Entertainment

Description: In this point-and-click adventure game you helped Pajama Sam assemble delegates for the Food Group Peace Conference and negotiate a peace treaty between junk foods and vegetables. Literally.

What you learned: Problem solving, basic nutrition, and the complexities of international relations.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎

6. Math Blaster!

Davidson & Associates

Description: You played as the heroic astronaut Blasternaut on his quest to destroy the Trash Aliens by blasting them with math. It was fucking dope.

What you learned: Basic math skills, quick thinking, and that extraterrestrial life exists and can be defeated with first grade math.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎

7. Detective Barbie: In the Mystery of the Carnival Caper

Mattel Interactive

Description: You played as Detective Barbie on her mission to find Ken who somehow got lost at a carnival.

What you learned: Deductive reasoning, problem solving, and that DUDES CAN ENJOY BARBIES, TOO!

Educational rating: 🍎

8. Jumpstart Adventure 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain

Knowledge Adventure

Description: In this beautiful game, you played as a sentient robot and used third grade knowledge to defeat a very rich child who locked herself inside of a mountain.

What you learned: Fractions, sentence structure, and what it's like to be a pre-teen robot traveling through time.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎

9. SimCity

EA Games

Description: In this simulation-style game you were given goals such as decreasing the city's traffic congestion, lowering the crime rate, or bolstering the economy β€” and yes, it's actually fun.

What you learned: Urban planning, environmental welfare, and how to best deal with an alien invasion in that one bonus level.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎

10. Spy Fox: Operation Ozone

Humongous Entertainment

Description: You played as Spy Fox and worked with the government to save the world from the devastating effects of climate change. That's right, even a cartoon fox from the '90s wants to save the world from climate change.

What you learned: Environmentalism, the global effects of climate change, and that poodles are the most diabolical animal of all time.

Educational rating: 🍎

11. The Amazon Trail

The Learning Company

Description: In this fever dream of a game, you were guided through the jungles of Peru by a talking jaguar who turned out to be the pet of the Incan king because why not.

What you learned: World history, the impact of colonialism, and that the bubonic plague was, like, really bad.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎

12. Mario Teaches Typing


Description: After a magical typewriter exploded in his face, Mario must fight his enemies through the power of proper typing!

What you learned: Typing, reading comprehension, and how to mute your computer because wow, were the sounds of this game annoying!

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎

13. The Castle of Dr. Brain

Sierra Entertainment

Description: The goal of the game was to get to the top of Dr. Brain's castle and become his assistant. You know how some employers want cover letters? Well, in this world, they want you to fight your way through a magic castle.

What you learned: Mathematics, logic, and how to solve jigsaw puzzles even quicker than your grandmother.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎

14. Number Munchers


Description: There is no story element to Number Munchers. Only survival. You tried to keep yourself alive by solving increasingly complex math problems before you were devoured by a horrible, bloodthirsty Troggle.

What you learned: Multiplication, factorials, and that "Smarties" are actually monsters in life, too.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎

15. Spelunx


Description: Spelunx was a point-and-click game that took place in a series of different rooms and tunnels, each of which had different mini games and experiments. It was, like, really weird.

What you learned: Sentence structure, music theory, and that linear game structure is for suckers.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎🍎

16. Roller Coaster Tycoon


Description: You built roller coasters and designed theme parks. What else do you want to know?

What you learned: Budgeting, architecture, and how to properly sweep vomit off a path.

Educational rating: 🍎🍎

17. Sid Meier's Civilization III

Firaxis Games

Description: You built an empire from the ground up and then spent the rest of the game trying to stay in power. Kinda like modern government, AM I RIGHT?!

What you learned: World history, the danger of imperialism, and that you were born to be king of all humanity!

Educational rating: 🍎🍎

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